Oregon candidates for governor John Kitzhaber and Chris Dudley met September 30 in what may well be their only debate before Election Day. They were asked about their different takes on economic issues, tax policy and the environment as well as the experience they each bring to the table. Some of the questions were submitted by the public.
Republican Chris Dudley is an investment adviser, and a former center for the Portland Trail Blazers. He currently heads a foundation for children with diabetes. Democrat John Kitzhaber is a medical doctor, who served two previous terms as Oregon’s governor from 1995-2003 and currently leads a healthcare advocacy organization. A poll over the summer showed the two candidates neck and neck. A recent poll still reflects a close race, with Dudley pulling ahead by a few points.
The Dudley (pdf) and Kitzhaber campaigns announced different debate schedules, which only overlap on two dates. One was the KGW debate Thursday night; the other was their September 25 joint appearance at the League of Oregon Cities conference in Eugene. The two candidates did not directly respond to one another’s remarks at that forum and the questions were provided to the candidates in advance. That leaves one formal debate between these two candidates on the calendar. Some members of the media contend that that is simply not enough.
Do you pay attention to debates? Do they influence the way you vote? What were you hoping to hear from the candidates on Thursday?
If you could ask the gubernatorial candidates anything, what would it be?
Thursday’s debate, hosted by KGW with additional sponsorship from The Oregonian, will also be aired live at 7pm on OPB Radio.
- Jim Moore: Political science professor and director of the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University
- Ross Day: Executive director and general council for the Common Sense for Oregon political action committee
- Carla Axtman: An editor for Blue Oregon
- Trent Lutz: Executive director of the Democratic Party of Oregon